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Home NATIONALNiinistö still a very popular choice
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Mon, 04 Jul, 2016 12:01:04 AM
Next presidential polls
FTimes – STT Report, Jul 4
President Sauli Niinistö. File Photo – Lehtikuva.
The incumbent President Sauli Niinstö has emerged as a very popular candidate for the next presidential polls, although he is yet to decide whether he will contest in the election.
According to a survey findings published by a Finnish language newspaper Helsingin Sanomat on Sunday, Niinistö would be a strong contender in 2018, if he contests. 
About 89 per cent of the respondents believe that Niinistö, who contested in the last election as a candidate of the Kansallinen Kokoomus (National Coalition Party), has managed very well or fairly well as the president of the country.
According to representatives of the parliamentary parties interviewed by the news agency STT, Niinistö’s popularity does not affect other parties’ choices of candidates.
Meanwhile, the main opposition Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue (Social Democratic Party of Finland-SDP) did not announce any candidate for the next presidential election yet.
“We will certainly have our own candidate nominees,” said SDP Secretary Reijo Paananen.
So far, only the ruling Suomen Keskusta (Centre Party) has named former prime minister and party lawmaker Matti Vanhanen as its candidate for the next presidential polls.
Perussuomalaiset (Finns Party) parliamentary group chairman Sampo Terho also thinks that the party will wish to register for the race this year and elect a candidate at next summer’s party congress.
The Vihreät (Green League) likely to nominate lawmaker Pekka Haavisto for the next presidential polls, while the Vasemmistoliito (Left Alliance) intends to choose a candidate for the election, sources said.
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